MEET BRIGID VIDLER
What was the inspiration behind your piece for SWELL Sculpture Festival 2022?
Coral bleaching has become an almost annual event. I wanted to gently highlight the connection between human activity and the changing world. Denim is such a recognisable fabric, steeped in history and culture. Blue denim jeans are so ubiquitous that they are considered a ‘neutral’ in the wardrobe, in spite of the fact they are a bold colour choice for trousers. Fading and rips on jeans map the life of the wearer, which struck me as a nice parallel with coral bleaching.
What does exhibiting in the 20th year of SWELL Sculpture Festival mean to you?
It is my first time exhibiting in SWELL and I am incredibly excited. The fact that it is the 20th year is a bonus. It is a testament to the hard work of many people that an arts organisation lasts this long!
Would you rather go into the past and meet your favourite artists or go into the future to see the future of art?
I don’t think it’s a great idea to meet icons or idols, but I would like to go into the past and experience what it was like to see a photograph or film footage for the first time without having grown up with either.
Are there any budding artists that you’re excited to see evolve?
There are so many, off the top of my head Anna Lytridou is a fabulous painter who make interesting installations with her paintings. I am always excited when I go to see her show as I know that there will be at least one moment of surprise.
If you were a biscuit, which biscuit would you be?
I would probably be an oat cake and hope that I was paired with delicious cheese.
Did you have any favourite artists when you were growing up?
I found the work of Fiona Hall, William Kentridge and Cornelia Parker fascinating.
Has your art practice changed over time?
Yes. I am interested in process and technique, which has often driven my inquiry. I have had the privilege to work for many artists as an assistant, which has allowed me to accumulate and refine skills which in turn has opened up possibilities for my work. My work tends to be a response to things which are happening at a specific moment in time, which means that my work has shifted over time.
If we ran into you at the pub, what drink should we offer to buy you?
Depends on the season, white wine spritzer in the summer and an oaky red in the winter.
What is the trickiest part of being an artist?
Achieving balance, whether it be financial, live/work balance, or a balance between working time and giving your body a rest. Unfortunately, an art practice doesn’t always generate an income so it is relegated to the time outside other paid working hours and often takes the place of rest and recreation. It takes a lot of mental and physical energy to sustain a practice alongside other paid work.
What is the strangest thing or thought that has inspired a piece of artwork, you have created or experienced?
In Lands End by Phillipe Genty there was a sequence where a performer was playing, almost dancing with a huge, fragile and thin polythene sphere. It was visually remarkable and oddly compelling.
Do you prefer to create for others or for yourself?
Both. I make the work that I want to make but I want it to be the beginning of a conversation.
What activity do you think they were they doing down by the school yard in Paul Simons famous song, “Me and Julio down by the school yard”?
I think that they were hanging out at a time when people who looked like them weren’t supposed to be hanging out together.
Joss Smith is an emerging graphic designer based in Tweed Heads, loving everything visual and immersive. Her passion for the creative arts has led her to study a Bachelor of Visual Communication and Graphics. She hopes to balance her love for the arts, culture and nature with her strengths in communication and management to create wicked designs with wicked people.